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Ford City
 Office
312 Ford St.
Ford City, PA 16226-1212
Tel: 724-763-3222
FAX: 724-763-9788
Staff: Abigail Major (Chief of Staff), Amajor@pahousegop.com
Marissa DeLorenzo, Mdelorenzo@pahousegop.com

Hours: Mon- Wed and Fri 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.  Thurs. 12 pm - 7 pm.

Sarver Office
612 South Pike Road #106
Sarver, PA 16055
Phone: (724) 295-2200
Fax: (724) 295-2322  

Staff: Zachary Reigh, Zreigh@pahousegop.com
Marcia Fox Mfox@pahousegop.com

Hours: Mon-Fri 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.    

Capitol Office
216 Ryan Office Building
PO Box 202060
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2060
Tel: 717-783-5327
Fax: 717-260-6511
Staff: Erica Godsey, egodsey@pahousegop.com 
 
Email:  
The Honorable Jeff Pyle, jpyle@pahousegop.com
Pyle Leads Effort to Combat Illegal Drugs in Pennsylvania
3/11/2008

Rep. Jeff Pyle (R-Armstrong/Indiana), chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee’s Task Force on Drugs and Law Enforcement, today unveiled a package of legislation aimed at fighting the war on drugs in communities throughout Pennsylvania.

The package of bills would empower law enforcement, provide greater vigilance in the war on drugs and impose tougher penalties on illegal drug dealers and users. The plan includes bills such as: 
  • House Bill 323, sponsored by Pyle, would make the offense of drug delivery resulting in death a first-degree felony.
  • House Bill 2216, sponsored by Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin), would update the state’s Wiretap Law to assist in law enforcement efforts.
  • House Bill 2255, sponsored by Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster), would authorize county courts to establish drug courts to streamline the legal process for prosecuting illegal drug cases.
  • House Bill 2217, sponsored by Rep. Will Gabig (R-Cumberland), would increase the penalty for individuals who possess larger quantities of illegal drugs. 
“My colleagues and I have introduced a package of bills that, I believe, will go a long way in dealing with the drug problem in Pennsylvania,” Pyle said. “This task force has spent the past year listening to heart-wrenching stories of what drugs have done to families and the troubles created in towns throughout the Commonwealth. It is time this Legislature gives our communities and law enforcement the resources necessary to fight this scourge.”
 
Pyle noted that the task force held hearings throughout Pennsylvania to gain insight and suggestions on what is needed legislatively to combat illegal drugs and resulting crimes that are increasing across the Commonwealth. Hearings were held in Kittanning, Erie, Williamsport, Harrisburg, Beaver Falls and Eagleville (Montgomery County). 
 
Valuable testimony was given by police officers, district attorneys, judges, magisterial district judges, treatment specialists and family members on how illegal drugs affect the quality of life and the safety of individuals and communities.
 
“Illegal drugs and their effects on families truly is the ‘enemy within’,” Pyle said. “This is serious business and we all need to be a part of the solution. I am grateful that my colleagues in the Republican Caucus have worked together in creating a comprehensive package of legislation that I believe will benefit all Pennsylvanians. It’s time we get tough on the people who are harming our children and affecting the quality of life in our neighborhoods.”
 
Throughout the year’s studies involving volumes of testimony, another point that has made itself abundantly clear is that alternative sentencing courts (“drug courts”) are working well and reducing repeat offenses. The task force will be pursuing state funding to establish drug courts in smaller counties and provide additional funding to those counties that already operate them.
 
Rep. Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny), chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, embraced the goals of this legislation.
 
“Over the past year, the Policy Committee has gathered invaluable information on how to combat Pennsylvania’s drug problem from those who are on the front lines, dealing with this issue every day,” Turzai said. “The abuse of drugs has a far-reaching, negative impact on families and communities. The legislation we put forth today encompasses suggestions by the Attorney General’s office, state and local police, local district attorneys and drug rehabilitation specialists and provides concrete and realistic improvements to the Commonwealth’s drug enforcement procedures.”
 
“Illegal drugs will continue to be a problem until we can be resourceful enough and show the fortitude to confront it head on,” Pyle said. 
 
The package of legislation has been introduced in the House and will be assigned to a committee for consideration.
 
Editors Note: The following are the 15 bills that make up the legislative package.
  • House Bill 323, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Pyle (R-Armstrong/Indiana), would make the offense of drug delivery resulting in death a first-degree felony.
  • House Bill 2216, sponsored by Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin), would update the state’s Wiretap Law to assist in law enforcement efforts.
  • House Bill 2217, sponsored by Rep. Will Gabig (R-Cumberland), would increase the penalty under the Controlled Substance Act for individuals who possess larger quantities of illegal drugs.
  • House Bill 2255, sponsored by Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster), would authorize county courts to establish drug courts to streamline the legal process for prosecuting illegal drug cases.
  • House Bill 1597, sponsored by Rep. Steve Cappelli (R-Lycoming), would deny cash assistance to welfare recipients who test positive for illegal drugs.
  • House Bill 157, sponsored by Rep. Matt Baker (R-Bradford/Tioga), would limit the sale of over-the-counter cold medications, which are used to manufacture methamphetamine.
  • House Bill 1379, sponsored by Rep. Karen Beyer (R-Lehigh/Northampton), would add the hallucinogenic drug Salvia Divinorum to Schedule One of the Controlled Substance Act.
  • House Bill 2218, sponsored by Rep. Mauree Gingrich (R-Lebanon), would create the Drug Endangered Kids Task Force.
  • House Bill 2219, sponsored by Rep. Jim Marshall (R-Beaver), would establish a grant program for deployment of law enforcement drug and violence task forces within existing police departments.
  • House Bill 2220, sponsored by Rep. Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin), would increase the mandatory minimum penalty for drug delivery resulting in death from 5 years to 20 years.
  • House Bill 2221, sponsored by Rep. Karen Boback (R-Columbia/Luzerne/Wyoming), would establish a third-degree felony for any person who violates the Controlled Substance Act in the presence of a minor, and a second-degree felony if the minor suffers physical harm.
  • House Bill 2222, sponsored by Rep. Curt Sonney (R-Erie), would prohibit public school students from participating in extracurricular activities if convicted for violating the Controlled Substance Act.
  • House Bill 2223, sponsored by Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming), would increase the penalties for the use, delivery or possession of drug paraphernalia to a minor.
  • House Bill 2248, sponsored by Rep. Bob Mensch (R-Montgomery), would impose penalties for the theft of a controlled substance and physician prescription forms.
  • House Bill 2256, sponsored by Rep. Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny), would add language to current law to include criminal gang activity, criminal offenses, penalties and disposition of juvenile offenders. 
Rep. Jeff Pyle
60th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
(800) 287-0614
Contact: Tim Eller
House Republican Public Relations
teller@pahousegop.com
(717) 260-6242
Member site: 
JeffPyle.net
Caucus site: PAHouseGOP.com